Structured Walking and Chronic Institutionalized Schizophrenia Inmates: A pilot RCT Study on Quality of Life

  •  Siew Yim Loh    
  •  Amalina Abdullah    
  •  Abdul Kadir Abu Bakar    
  •  Maniam Thambu    
  •  Nik Ruzyanei Nik Jaafar    


BACKGROUND: Lifestyle moderate-intensity physical activity can lower the risk of over twenty chronic health conditions, whilst inactivity reduces daily functioning and physical health of individuals living with schizophrenia. This study conducted in 2014 examines the effect of structured walking participation on QOL, psychosocial functioning and symptoms in Hospital Permai, one of the largest psychiatry institution in Asia

METHOD: Chronic patients with schizophrenia (n=104) who met inclusion criteria were randomised to either a 3-month structured walking intervention or a treatment-as-usual arm. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), global functioning (PSP) and QOL (SF-36) were measured at baseline and after the 3-month interval.

RESULTS: At 3 month follow-up, there were significant within group differences in QOL (SF-36), psychiatric symptoms (PANSS), and personal and social performance (PSP). There were statistically significant increase in the median SF-36 scores, with increases shown in physical functioning (p<.001), physical role limitations (p<.05), social functioning (p<.01) in the intervention group compared to treatment-as-usual group. Statistically significant reduction of median PANSS score of the intervention group were noted in positive (p<0.001) and negative (p<0.01) symptom, and general psychopathology (p<0.01) scales. Statistically significant increase in the median PSP score (p<0.01) was found in the intervention group compared with the treatment-as-usual group. Between-group differences at post intervention (favouring Intervention) were significant for PANSS positive and SF36 Physical

CONCLUSION: In long stayed chronic inmates, a simple but consistent, organized walking intervention has the potential to bring improvement in functioning, reduction in psychiatric symptoms and quality of Life. The emphasis of rehabilitation should target at lifestyle redesign intervention.

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